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  • Author or Editor: ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban aṭ-Ṭabarī x
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Editor / Translator: Oliver Kahl
ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban aṭ-Ṭabarī's Indian Books, completed in the year 850 CE as an appendix to his medico-philosophical chef-d'œuvre "Paradise of Wisdom", belong to the most remarkable texts in Arabic scientific literature. The Indian Books offer a unique, interpretative summary of the main tenets of Ayurvedic medicine, as understood by Arabic-speaking scholars on the basis of now lost translations from Sanskrit. The present book centres around a critical edition and annotated translation of this crucial text, framed by a detailed introduction and extensive glossaries of terms. Ṭabarī's learned exposé of Ayurveda also throws a more nuanced light on the allegedly uncontested supremacy of Greek humoralism in 9th-century Arabic medicine.
Editor / Translator: Oliver Kahl
The Arabic treatise edited and translated here was written in the middle of the 9th century CE by ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban aṭ-Ṭabarī, a Christian convert to Islam and one of the most remarkable thinkers of his time. The text can be described as a manual towards the preservation of health, addressed directly to the ʿAbbāsid caliph al-Mutawakkil and his household. It represents not only the oldest extant specimen of its kind, but is also distinguished by its largely non-technical language, as well as by a narrative style that creates an unusual interface with classical Arabic prose literature. The Greek and Indian sources upon which aṭ-Ṭabarī relied testify to the synthetic and inclusive character of early Islamic medicine.